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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-18-13, 02:28 PM   #1
Vanicent
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Question about hills and wet weather

I have a 2012 Fuji Roubaix 2.0, part of my commute to work involves a hill with a 10% grade for roughly a mile. I've limited my commuting by bike to dry weather only so far but this year want to expand that to commute during wet weather as well. Any advice considering the hill descent when wet/raining? I typically brake hard periodically to control speed but still give the brakes time to cool off, I don't have disc brakes, how will the wet weather typically affect normal style brakes? Should I consider a slightly wider tire than the stock size (23c) for more traction? The rest of my commute is on a MUP that ends right at the entrance to my work and I'm not concerned with the rest of the trip, just that one hill.
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Old 02-18-13, 02:53 PM   #2
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just brake a little earlier. you'll be fine.
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Old 02-18-13, 03:13 PM   #3
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Get some Kool Stop wet weather pads (salmon colored). Clean your rims with degreaser periodically to remove grime. And, as Commodus said, start braking earlier.
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Old 02-18-13, 03:15 PM   #4
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Get some Kool Stop wet weather pads (salmon colored). Clean your rims with degreaser periodically to remove grime. And, as Commodus said, start braking earlier.
yea I would argue that the fancy pads really aren't necessary, but those koolstops are darn nice.
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Old 02-18-13, 03:19 PM   #5
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Get some Kool Stop wet weather pads (salmon colored). Clean your rims with degreaser periodically to remove grime. And, as Commodus said, start braking earlier.
The above. I also tend to very lightly apply the brakes if I think I am going to have to really use them, this skims the water off the rim so that when you actually need to apply them you get full bite immediately. I do this on descents where I am taking a lane and there is another traffic lane going to the same direction next to me and there are cars jockeying around to turn left and right, sometimes in front of me.

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Old 02-18-13, 03:20 PM   #6
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I would argue that too, as my own bike doesn't have a set. But I've been able to ride a bike that had them and they do wonders in wet conditions. If the original poster is really concerned about stopping safety in wet conditions, those are the best pads I've ever experienced.
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Old 02-18-13, 03:45 PM   #7
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Brakes don't overheat on wet roads so feather away and keep the rims dry.
Wider tyres may help, the main advantage is better protection of the rim when you ride into a pothole full of water. Some frames take wider tyres OR fenders, in which case, i would go for full-length fenders, bolt-on style if you have the eyelets.
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Old 02-18-13, 04:41 PM   #8
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Brakes don't overheat on wet roads so feather away and keep the rims dry.
Wider tyres may help, the main advantage is better protection of the rim when you ride into a pothole full of water. Some frames take wider tyres OR fenders, in which case, i would go for full-length fenders, bolt-on style if you have the eyelets.
This. When I ride long downhills I tend to alternate front rear feathering so one wheel is controlling my speed at all times. I do the same in rain but tend to keep my speed lower than in dry conditions.
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Old 02-18-13, 04:52 PM   #9
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I'll look into the pads you mentioned, thanks for the advice! That's good to know about heat not being as big an issue when it's wet, I should have considered that lol.
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Old 02-20-13, 03:37 PM   #10
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+1 on the Kool Stops, and favor using the front brake over the rear. When you apply brakes, you reduce traction on the rear wheel and increase traction on the front, thus the front brake becomes more effective. The rear wheel becomes more prone to skidding. This effect is multiplied by a wet road surface and going downhill.
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Old 02-20-13, 09:23 PM   #11
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The only difference I've noticed is that my wheels lock up much easier. Just brake earlier and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-21-13, 09:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by shepherdsflock View Post
Get some Kool Stop wet weather pads (salmon colored). Clean your rims with degreaser periodically to remove grime. And, as Commodus said, start braking earlier.
+1 on the Kool Stops. I just put some on my road bike, my first set. I got a quill stem to the bread basket the first time I used the brakes with my normal squeeze-force.
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Old 02-21-13, 09:58 AM   #13
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I switched from 23 to 28 Gatorskins for my commute and it is a far more enjoyable experience. I doubt I'm losing too much speed because of the wider tires but it added so much comfort it's not even funny. The increased traction is always a plus especially in wet conditions.
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Old 02-21-13, 10:14 AM   #14
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Yet another +1 for salmon Kool Stop pads and braking a little earlier.
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Old 02-21-13, 10:17 AM   #15
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If you are like me, you will like the Kool Stop pads so much that you will put them on all of your bikes! Not only do they stop better in the rain, but they squeak less and are cleaner than stock pads. My bikes mostly have Shimano brakes, and their pads are notorious for turning your rims grimy black when riding in the rain. With Kool Stops, my rims are much cleaner. Kool Stops work significantly better than Shimano pads and way, way better than Tektros.
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Old 02-21-13, 11:09 AM   #16
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I used to run Kool Stops on my roadbikes, and I could definitely tell a difference in the wet. My current commuter is a recumbent, and with the disc brakes I have now, the stopping power between wet and dry is entirely limited by the tire, not the brakes.
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Old 02-21-13, 12:20 PM   #17
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The only time I've had any problems braking is when my wheels have steel rims. Steel rims and rain put you in a time warp when you brake. You grab all the brake you can, as hard as you can and then slowly count to 10 while waiting for your brakes to start working. It's spooky.
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